The more colorful signs of spring are only just beginning to emerge here in the midwest. As if on cue, the Forsythia bushes, the Magnolia tree, some Crocus, Creeping Periwinkle, and a few clusters of daffodils all revealed their gloriousness this past Easter weekend. Finally returning some long awaited color to the brown landscape. If, by some miracle or wishful thinking, the wind and rain are kept to a minimum over the next couple of weeks, the lifespan of these relatively short-lived, somewhat fragile blossoms may be lengthened.
Later this week I am heading to South Carolina. First to spend some long overdue time with a friend I met years back in Colorado. While our life paths getting us both to the same place at the same time were different, our connection to one another was immediate. Unbeknownst to us at the time, it was the beginning of a life-changing, life-enhancing, life-long friendship. And ever since that first meeting, we have both worked to maintain this valued long-distance friendship. Although we talk on the phone, text, and keep up with one another on social media, nothing replaces, further sustains, or deepens the foundation of a friendship more than being able to spend some quality time together.
On second part of the trip, I, along with some of the members of my running group will be running a 10k race across one of Charleston's most scenic bridges. The second part of this trip caused to me to obsess over the weather forecast slightly more than usual. While the rational part of me understands the weather is well outside of my sphere of influence (and control), the irrational part hopes my prayers for sun-filled, rain-free days will be heard and answered by the good weather Gods or Goddesses. Let's hope irrationality prevails because we are all looking forward to experiencing this iconic 'scenic' run as well as spending some time at the beach. Because when you live in the midwest, a 70 degree day is a beach day.
My trepidation over making Deviled Eggs has been due in large part to being 'hard-boiled' egg challenged. No matter how many of the 'fool-proof, perfect every time hard-boiled egg' recipes attempted over the years (and there have been at least a dozen), my eggs were consistently imperfect. Either I made a mess of them in the peeling process or the yolks were over/under done. Trust me when I say there is only so much hard-boiled egg failure one can take. With there being a significant amount of time and distance between me and the making of Deviled Eggs, I was finally able to put my ego aside, muster up all of my hard-boiling egg courage, and try one more time.
Either the stars were aligned or this hard-boiled egg recipe is the real deal. Finally, I have found the perfect, fool-proof one.
This hard-boiling egg technique begins with bringing a pot of water to a boil and then carefully adding the eggs. Once all of the eggs have been added, the heat is reduced to a simmer and a lid is placed on the pot. After 10 minutes, the eggs are removed and immediately submerged in a bowl of iced water until they are cool enough to handle. Not only did these eggs peel easily, but the yolks were done perfectly!
There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of filling recipes for Deviled Eggs, some even having claims of being the 'best' or the 'greatest'. And let's not forget the long standing family favorites passed down from generation to generation. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I had a blank deviled egg slate.
So when I came across the Hillstone Restaurant Group's "Greatest" Deviled Egg recipe posted by Bon Appetit my curiosity was peaked. And my 'how can I make even better?' competitiveness went into overdrive. After looking at the ingredient list, I immediately knew what the game changer options were going to be. Either Maille's Dijon Mustard or their new Mustard with Carrot and a Hint of Shallot instead of a yellow mustard. One taste of the complex, slightly intense flavor of the Mustard with Carrot and a Hint of Shallot and the choice was easy as I knew it would be the perfect compliment to the mayonnaise, celery, scallions, drained pickle relish, parsley, kosher salt, pepper, and hard-boiled egg yolks.
I tried to keep the ingredient proportions the same as the inspiration recipe, however. there will be one possibly, two changes the next time I make these Deviled Eggs: Reduce the 3 Tablespoons of drained pickle relish to 2 Tablespoons to better balance all of the flavors in the filling as well as consider using a mild ChowChow instead of a pickle relish. But I will definitely keep the relish as one of the ingredients.
How you fill the egg whites will purely depend on your desired finished look to the Deviled Eggs (a little fancy or a little rustic). The use of a pastry bag with a larger round tip put the finished look of these eggs somewhere between fancy and rustic.
The finishing touch to the filled eggs is another light sprinkle of black pepper and freshly chopped parsley.
These Deviled Eggs will definitely be making repeat appearances and subsequent disappearances here. Especially now that I have mastered making the perfect hard-boiled egg. Sometimes good things really do come to those who aren't afraid to stop trying.
A very special thanks to Maille for sending me their incredibly delicious Spring/Summer collection of mustards.
Deviled Eggs (several adaptions to Hillstone Restaurant Group's Deviled Egg recipe)
12 large eggs, taken out of the refrigerator at least an hour before boiling
4 1/2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
4 1/2 Tablespoons very finely chopped celery
2-3 Tablespoons finely chopped drained pickle relish or ChowChow (recommend Stonewall Kitchen's Farmhouse Relish)
3 Tablespoons very finely chopped scallions, white and green parts
3 teaspoons dijon mustard (highly recommend Maille's Mustard with Carrot and a Hint of Shallot)
3 teaspoons finely chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
3 dashes of hot sauce
Kosher salt and black pepper
1. Bring a medium sized pot filled with water to a boil.
2. Gently add eggs, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
3. Drain and transfer to a bowl filled with cold water and ice. Let sit long enough to handle. Peel eggs.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, celery, relish, dijon mustard, scallions, parsley, and 2 dashes of hot sauce. Season with kosher salt and black pepper.
5. Halve eggs lengthwise. Scoop out yolks into the mayonnaise-mustard mixture. Place whites on a platter.
6. Gently mash yolks into dressing until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
7. Using a pastry bag (or forks), fill egg halves with mixture.
8. Lightly sprinkle top of eggs with black pepper and finely chopped parsley. Chill and/or serve immediately.
Note: Eggs can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and store egg white halves and filling separately. Fill just before serving.
Biggest takeaway: Allow the filling to chill slightly (at least 2 hours or overnight) before filling the eggs.